Saturday, May 22, 2010

Twelve Synthecosms of Riskail

Synthecosms are manufactured, artificial pseudo-universes derived from a bizarre spatial aneurysm-effect and locked-down into stable pockets extruded or bulged out of the underlying geometrically-defined fabric of space itself.  They generally only have one opening and that is where they merge back into the spatial continuum or spectrum.  Some of the earliest experiments yielded synthecosms only a few nanometers in diameter, some of them extending outside of the local frame of reference for time-flow and thus opening the door to a number of temporal as well as spatial opportunities that were then pursued by the various scientific factions, AI-collogues, and other parties during the Pre-Diasporic years leading to the Breakdown.  Many of the earlier versions failed, proved to be unstable and in some instances made better weapons than anything else.  It wasn't until just before the Singularity that a group of clandestine cyborgs working in laboratories hidden in the midst of colorful favelas in Brazil discovered how to form a functional, stable and customizable synthecosm.  Their efforts led to the release of the plans, schematics and details out into the crude precursor to the Worldnet and eventually those technical details were recovered by the Datasphere when it restored the free flow of information to humanity.

Since those long distant and highly edited days gone by the creation and design of synthecosms has become an artform and there are those who compete amongst themselves to develop and evolve radical isolated ecologies and outrageous environments within synthecosms that they then make available to athletes, survivalists, extremists and others as part of various games, annual events and hyper-competitive contests.  All synthecosms devolve to the Public Domain, by common law, one hundred years after they have been established, if not before.  All the necessary information for creating and working with synthecosms is freely available through the Datasphere as part of all sentient being's social inheritance, in remembrance of the terrible sacrifice made by those who originated this particular technology, and the horrific abuses it was first put to by private interests and covert agencies serving governmental interests over human rights.

The goal is for such things to never again be abused or misused.  Of course that means that whatever abuses are taking place are now different than those that have been stalemated by making it all public, but the sheer amount of effort or perverse ingenuity required to abuse this technology from this point onwards is staggering and anyone capable of doing such a thing might very well push the very boundaries of possibility towards things that cannot yet even be imagined.  It is hoped that the various agencies, offices and ministries are watching, monitoring and scanning for such an instance so that the atrocities of the past are at least minimized and any technological progress obtained in this manner does not proliferate amongst the private sector, but rather is made Public Access and thus open to the scrutiny of all citizens and all interested parties, both incarnate and softborn.  This strategy has averted a great deal of wasteful suffering.

Synthecosm Conventions and Best Practices
Since the Third Diaspora all synthecosms have been mandated to make use of a hexagonal frame around their primary aperture.  Older versions still retain their round aperture-frames and can sometimes be mistaken for a municipal gate, or at least that was the decision of the pre-Purge Courts, from back when judges were still entirely living, breathing humans who sometimes relied upon juries of other humans and the system was a barbaric, adversarial contest of wills, personality and duplicity based upon casting doubt, not actual facts.  The law is still in-force, mostly as a tradition, having been deprecated from an automatic summary-termination-offense to a regenerative stint in a rehab-gulag on one of the penal-worlds maintained for asocial offenders who lack empathy or the comprehension/understanding necessary to appreciate the role of traditions, laws and rules in Polite Society. 

It's not that they can't break the law, it's that they cannot understand or appreciate how their actions affect others.  Sociopathy is a difficult thing to remediate due to the culturally distasteful ambiguity of imposing a moral prosthetic upon someone who by their very nature cannot possibly give informed consent in any meaningful way.  If they could give informed consent, they wouldn't be sociopaths.  Thus these types get shunted off to isolated locales where they can learn how to cooperate, work within a social framework, and reach a level of personal development where they can discover a functional sense of morality or acquire such an awareness of their own lack/damage that they can be repaired or healed without it being forced upon them through violence.  Most individuals recover from their rehab-sentences in the penal-colonies within six or seven generations or iterations (in the case of softborn).

Synthecosms are used in a wide array of industrial and infrastructural processes, including the isolation of harmful materials, mobile rapid flood-abatement, pollution containment and re-processing, eco-caching, and emergency nurseries for endangered wildlife or fragile ecosystems threatened by outside contamination or despoilation.  People also make use of the most common smaller-scale synthecosms for luggage and personal storage.  A few individuals have constructed entire habitats within synthecosms that serve as isoparks, personal estates, and shared playgrounds (non-competitive).

All synthecosms are mandated by common law to provide a vestibule-space at the immediate vicinity of their primary aperture.  All such vestibule-spaces are to maintain a free, clear and uncorrupted connection to the Datasphere which is to remain freely available to anyone and everyone within the vestibule-space at all times.  This vestibule-space is to be maintained as human-livable and to plainly and clearly provide any visitor to the synthecosm a fair and accurate description of the space beyond the vestibule.  Of course some interpret this ruling a bit differently than others and it has been known for various synthecosm designers to hire poets (dire and other kinds) or Corazunian marketers to draft these artist statements and introductions.  It is advised that anyone contemplating making an excursion or exploration of one of the synthecosms consider beginning with some of the more well-detailed, documented and benign environments available before rushing off into spaces and places where they just might get themselves caught dead.

Please note that while a typical synthecosm is in fact a direct physical extension of the common underspace, they are in effect, at least legally, considered to be separate domains and outside the bounds of any surrounding space or regional authority.  Synthecosms are autonomous regions by their very nature and all rules and traditions regarding such spaces apply to synthecosms in full force and effect.  By entering a particular synthecosm the visitor is formally accepting and agreeing to the registered rules, rites and requirements for that synthecosm regardless of their ignorance or negligence.  Essentially, enter at your own risk.

(14) of Twelve Common Synthecosms of Riskail

Forty-Eight Ledges of Parlung
A vast cavernous elliptical space filled with breathable air and lit by the shifting glistening golden-orange radiance emanating from the synthecosm's boundary-zones.  A series of garden-ledges float in slow, lazy orbits, one staggered in relation to the next for a sequence of forty-eight distinct Ledges, all of which have been designed as topiary mazes, water-filled channel-mazes, and ever more exotic forms of mazes and labyrinths by the Great Artist Parlung who lies in state within a transparent stasis-sarcophagus awaiting whomever is clever enough to outwit his mazes and re-awaken him for a fabulous reward.

Sea of Needles
A series of replicated synthecosms far too common for anyone's liking.  Originally the Sea of Needles was an industrial repository for needle-like bits of polyglass left-over from some obscure sculptrist's mostly deleted work with biomemetically reactive clouds of semi-autonomous polyglass needles and spindles that responded both to viewers auras and to certain ley-line interactions. Recognizing the utility of the Sea of Needles as a potential training ground for various psychic and sorcerous techniques, an increasing number of sorcerers and even some of the otherwise aloof Orders have begun to replicate and revise and design their own versions of the original which now serves as something of a template for all the versions that have come about since.  It is now commonplace to encounter some version of a Sea of Needles synthecosm expressly set-up as a training ground for sorcerers, psychics and others, each version being more specifically adapted to the particular needs of the student or the intentions of the mentor, as the case might be.

Spheres of Mareng
Peculiar inverted sphereworlds established by the Stonjin Mareng of Kridos'Aleem, an individual notorious for having contributed to the collapse of the Vorkuta-Nilonj Dysonsphere project.  Mareng remains a controversial figure, all instances of his existence are under censure and subject to prejudicial erasure by House Vorkuta for his proven involvement in the Vorkuta-Nilonj affair.  Mareng's synthecosm Spheres are, however, not subject to House Vorkuta's feud and are still to be found scattered across numerous worlds, with the majority being found most often in regions belonging to or under the supervision of House Vorkuta.  Each of the Spheres of Mareng exhibit a variety of peculiar gravitic effects and each one is outfitted with a complete sub-system modeled upon basic terraforming processes that enable anyone registering a claim on one of the Spheres to engage in their own ecological redecorating of the space to their heart's content.  Many people distrust Mareng's intentions in providing these systems within his Spheres, especially in light of his feud with House Vorkuta, and have come to look upon the Spheres as potential traps.

Datharian Pocket Tombs
Secure repositories for the most discriminating or potentially problematic forms of dead, undead or non-living ancestors in need of interment for whatever reason.  Even the tomb-robbing Elothrin clans have trouble cracking into these places, though it has happened at least once.

Vast egg-shaped spaces filled with dim, smoldering red light, extremely cold temperatures, and swirling slopes of crimson sand and grit that precipitously spiral downwards to a blood-red lake of fluid that is not water by any means.  There are harsh-edged monobsidian blades set at crazy angles just beneath the crimson sands which it turns out are nanocytes attracted to blood.  The crimson sands break down all forms of blood into constituent compounds, often quickly and painfully killing those unlucky enough to get cut by one of the millions of concealed blades.  The turbulent atmosphere only gets more intense and powerful the farther upwards from the surface one tries to go and it seems to be possessed of a rudimentary intelligence that allows the synthecosm's background systems to manipulate the winds in order to make airtravel impossible.  They can also cause the blades to rotate in alternating bands beneath the crimson sands.  For a place that has been replicated over a thousand times, no one really knows what the point of all this is actually.  Quite a few would like to know, and numerous explorers have attempted all sorts of clever expeditions, but so far to no avail whatsoever.  Rumors and folklore have accumulated in regards to the Pel-Nog synthecosms alleging that they must conceal some incredible treasure or deeply disturbing knowledge that has been removed from general circulation.  It is also a popular urban conceit that the Red Mark of the Old Regime's Censors drew upon the Pel-Nog synthecosms.  But there has never been any substantiated proof of this particular tall tale to date.

Empathically reactive enclosures that hyper-adapt their psychoscapic configuration to suit the particular individual who enters their domain after being ritually challenged.  Only one person can enter a Lemyo at any given time, and not all of them leave.  Telepaths, Semroo, Tezin and other groups make use of the numerous versions of the Lemyo synthecosms for testing their acolytes, disciples, students and apprentices.  It is said to dredge through the deepest fears of those who enter their sphere of influence in order to devise a suitable series of challenges to reveal the underlying truth of each aspirant's personality, identity and integrity.  No two challenges are ever identical, though some have had superficial similarities.

Hyper-Plateaus of Lorm
Surrounded by a tempest of shattered glass and worse things, the sandy floor of the vestibule is marked with the accumulated wards, warning plaques, cautionary signals, as well as hundreds of memorials for those who failed to survive the extremely demanding conditions established within these synthecosms.  All that is known commonly is that the challenges consist of making what the synthecosm sub-systems recognize as good choices, which may in fact only be a set of arbitrary and random guesses or gambles.  No one who has survived the Hyper-Plateaus of Lorm will discuss the challenges nor any other aspect of them with anyone who has not themself already survived the assay personally.  Even clones with telepathic unity across their bioiterations find themselves suddenly cut-off from their collective mind and made into a warded individual incapable of discussing or revealing the secrets of the Hyper-Plateaus even to their own clones.  There is a bit of prestige attached with having undergone this particular trial and making it, but very few have made it all the way and those who give up before completing the full course often come back somehow less than when they first entered, as though diminished in some strange way.

Pocket Gardens of Remat Nosri
Dedicated botanical synthecosms designed and populated by Remat Nosri Herself during the Interregnum.  These particular synthecosms are extremely valuable and much sought after as they contain numerous strange and exotic plants that have developed and evolved in complete isolation from all other biomes and as such are irreplaceable in their biological uniqueness. 

The Tower Within The Well
A million-mile shaft that bleeds into absolute zero temperature darkness at the boundary-zone of its interior walls, the so-called Well has a stone structure suspended in the exact middle of this cylindrical space with a gap of only ten or twenty feet at most between them.  Somehow the stone of the interior structure remains unaffected by the extreme cold of the outer walls unless actually brought into contact with them, which is usually vividly destructive.  Rampant nano-glossaliacytes infest each of these million-mile tall towers, etching every available surface with the characters of countless unknown, unregistered and mysterious glyphs, symbols, hieroglyphs and other forms of written language -- all of it functional, all of it transcribing various secrets of both sorcery and science, and all of it previously unknown, missing or unsuspected.

The Square Doors of Halith Narso
A baroque tesseract that was originally constructed as part of Narso's research into hypergeometries, until he became obsessed with a woman, her death and his subsequent revivification of her as a retrocarnate clone that has since become trapped within each of the various revisions and iterations of the Square Door synthecosms since Halith Narso abandoned the things in disgust, guilt and remorse over what he had done.  Unfortunately she remains trapped inside the tesseracts, endlessly wandering in stylish sorrow through panoramic vistas drawn from and constructed in mimickry of the works of Maxfield Parrish, Van Gogh and other classical masters.  Each Square Door synthecosm is built around a different classical artist.  They are elegant and majestic galleries, complete with tragic tales of high drama and a suitably macabre haunted figure of disconsolate beauty forever trapped, bereft of all hope and completely at the mercy of any who would show her mercy at the cost of destroying a priceless work of art.  For some it is a difficult, even damning dilemna.

Tethard Metalliomes
An experimental metal-based pseudo-ecology locked away behind black wards of serious killing power to ensure that fools do not blunder into the feral biomes contained within these synthecosms by accident.  There are rumors of withdrawn robot monastics who have been dwelling in silent isolation within these synthecosms for the last few centuries, but no records exist of whom they might be or why they are there.

Luddorro Vaults
A hovering ebony cube marks the entry-point to these ancient and highly warded vaults watched over by the Sentinels of Luddorro, a sectarian clonefaction whose history extends back to the First Awakening and the Opening of the first Sea Gate to Charybdis.  For a suitable fee anything can be sealed away and preserved within the Vaults for as long as one should wish, for time does not work the same within the various Luddorro synthecosms as it might seem to elsewhere.

The Round Room
A mysterious, circular chamber completely devoid of all markings, clear of all impressions and empty on a level and to a degree that is preternatural and disturbing.

Kechmullian Silica Forests
Abandoned overgrown self-luminous silica forests reach throughout the entire expanse of the elliptical innerzones of this synthecosm notorious for the molecular filaments extruded from each of the silicaceous pseudo-coral/plants.

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